Fake Android Store Opens in China, Sells iPhone, iPad & MacBooks, Too
Apple has its retail stores, where it sells the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac computers and accessories. Microsoft also has official retail stores in the U.S., which carries Windows Phone 7 smartphones and notebook computers running Windows. With Android being the leading smartphone platform, you’d think it’s high time for Google to launch its own retail store, but it seems third-party retailers have gone ahead without Google’s blessing. In China, Android stores have been cropping up, although these are decidedly fake.
The Next Web reports on a recent discovery of the so-called Android Store in Nanping, Zhuhai, with the distinctive markings of the Android robot on the store’s signage. However, far from simply retailing smartphones and tablets that run Android, the store also heavily markets smartphones from other platforms, particularly Android’s arch-rival, the iPhone.
Expat blog Isidor’s Fugue points out that the store owner could have been inspired by Androidland in Melbourne, although blogger Brian Glucroft says it’s not likely to be authorized by Google, given the focus on non-Android products.
I doubt Google would be thrilled with all of the choices made by this Android store owner. For example, in addition to a variety of Android-based mobile phones the store also sold Apple products such as iPhones, iPads, and computers.
Chinese entrepreneurs have previously launched fake Apple Stores, which very much looked like the real thing, to the extent that employees believed they were actually working for Apple. But with the discovery that these were unauthorized, Apple went on a legal offensive to protect its trademark and intellectual property. Some of the fake stores were discovered to have been operated by licensed retailers, and Apple promptly revoked licenses due to the misrepresentation.
There’s no word yet whether Google will take legal action against the fake Android Store, and others like it. We have sought word from Google in Asia over the matter, and will update this story once we get a response.
Update: Brian Glucroft has posted photos from inside the Android Store, and makes a few observations on how the store carries Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 Refresh devices.
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